At Atlantic Highlands, Capt. Rob Semkewyc had a great Friday trip with his Sea Hunter after a slow start as stripers and blues were boated, while six black drum in the 40-to-80-pound class were released. Capt. Dave De Gennaro trolled a 38-pound striper during the southeast wind on Tuesday on a white Tony Maja bunker spoon, and a 33-pounder was taken on a bunker from his Hi-Flier out of Barnegat off Island Beach State Park on Thursday as a finback whale observed the fight.
The Cock Robin from Point Pleasant made it's first trip of the season today, but encountered mostly smallish blues -- though a 15-pounder took the pool. Several bass blew up on our bunkers and knocked them out of the water -- but wouldn't eat them.
SL5-23-14-COLUMN RISTORI FOR FRIDAY FISHER PRICE WiNS HI-MAR TOURNAMENT by Al Ristori -- In case I get in from fishing too late on Friday -- will call Capt. Derek Bielitz topped a field of 37 boats competing in Saturday's Hi-Mar Striper Club's Spring Striped Bass Tournament out of Bahrs Landing in Highlands with a two-bass total of 57. The Berkeley Striper Club runs its 11th annual Spring Striped Bass Tournament from May 30 to June 7 with 7,500 in guaranteed prizes -- but this time it will be on a catch-and-release basis.
Tony Arcabascio of Bayville says boaters are trolling bass up to over 40 pounds off Island Beach State Park on his Tony Maja bunker spoons. Capt. Rob Semkewyc reported another tough day of striper fishing before getting into surfacing fish that produced over 100 6-to-10-pound blues -- but not a single bass on his Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands.
Stan Zagleski couldn't wait to switch to sea bass with his Elaine B. from Bahrs in Highlands -- and he was very pleased with today's results. Capt. John Kolias said he loaded up his Reel Fun from Twin Lights Marina in Highlands with bunkers today, but the striper bite was poor.
2 pounds -- which is also the largest officially-weighed bass from the bay I've heard of so far. He said the leaderboard was a very tight race, with 5-10 boats all within a couple pounds of each other until Fisher Price arrived.
Bob Matthews, at Fisherman's Den in Belmar Marina, reports some big stripers up to 35 pounds were trolled to the north on bunker spoons and Stretch plugs. He only missed four hits on the morning charter, but boated bass of 25, 30 and 35 pounds in two hours of afternoon trolling with Tony Maja bunker spoons in white and chartreuse in 60 feet, 5 to 7 miles north of Barnegat Inlet.
Big blues were a problem in Raritan Bay today, though Capt. Stan Zagleski said he also had a good catch of keeper bass among all the choppers caught on Elaine B from Highlands. Bob Correll of Bay Head took his wife, Mary Agnes, and son Kevin out on his Boston Whaler as they threw poppers in the river during the middle of the day to catch 10 blues.
In rushing out Friday's article I missed my error in listing June 30 as the postponement date for the Manhattan Cup which had been set for today. It will be held on Friday, May 30 at Liberty Landing Marina in Jersey City.